Florida Senate - 2010 SB 2230 By Senator Richter 37-01205B-10 20102230__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public records; amending s. 3 517.2015, F.S.; providing an exemption from public 4 records requirements for examination techniques and 5 procedures used by the Office of Financial Regulation 6 pursuant to the Florida Securities and Investor 7 Protection Act; providing for future review and repeal 8 of the exemption; providing a statement of public 9 necessity; providing an effective date. 10 11 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 12 13 Section 1. Subsection (4) is added to section 517.2015, 14 Florida Statutes, to read: 15 517.2015 Confidentiality of information relating to 16 investigations and examinations.— 17 (4)(a) Examination techniques and procedures used by the 18 office pursuant to this chapter are confidential and exempt from 19 s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. 20 Examination techniques and procedures are the methods, 21 processes, and guidelines used to evaluate regulatory compliance 22 and to collect and analyze data, documents, and testimony for 23 the purpose of documenting violations of this chapter and the 24 rules promulgated thereunder. 25 (b) Paragraph (a) is subject to the Open Government Sunset 26 Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed 27 on October 2, 2015, unless reviewed and saved from repeal 28 through reenactment by the Legislature. 29 Section 2. (1) The Legislature finds that it is a public 30 necessity that examination techniques and procedures used by the 31 Office of Financial Regulation pursuant to chapter 517, Florida 32 Statutes, the Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act, be 33 made confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), 34 Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption is necessary to 35 ensure the effective and efficient administration of the 36 examination program administered by the Office of Financial 37 Regulation under chapter 517, Florida Statutes, which would be 38 significantly impaired without the exemption. 39 (2) Examinations are an essential component of securities 40 regulation. The mere existence of an examination program fosters 41 regulatory compliance and deters fraud and abuse by industry 42 participants. Examinations often detect violations in their 43 early stages. This early detection allows corrective action to 44 be taken before significant harm can be done to investors. Due 45 to the importance of such examinations, state regulators devote 46 extensive resources to devising effective examination techniques 47 and procedures. 48 (3) Revealing examination techniques or procedures would 49 undermine the examination process and facilitate evasion of the 50 law. Any advance notice of the areas of inquiry to be explored 51 during an examination might prompt a person to conceal evidence 52 of deficiencies or fabricate evidence of compliance. Without the 53 exemption, the Office of Financial Regulation’s ability to 54 uncover misconduct and evaluate policies and procedures through 55 the examination process would be significantly impaired. 56 (4) Additionally, without such an exemption the Office of 57 Financial Regulation’s ability to participate in joint 58 examinations with other securities regulators would be impaired 59 as release of this information would compromise the integrity of 60 such joint examinations. The office also would not be able to 61 accept or use confidential examination techniques and procedures 62 developed by other regulators. Thus, the absence of an exemption 63 would create a situation that reduces the office’s ability to 64 leverage its limited resources. 65 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.